Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Crackers

I know I havent posted for a while but the weather froze my mojo as well as everything else outside!LOL

I started making my own crackers a month ago, and after trying and testing different types of paper and ways to tie them, I came up with the following, which I have decided to make into a tutorial.

If you pop by and use the tutorial please leave me a comment / feedback, so I know how you found it, as it was a little bit of work and I would appreciate the feedback!!

Here goes then..
I thought it best to have as much info and as many pictures as possible, hence the long post and they are quite easy and quick to make after the first one!!

To start, your usual tools of the trade - DS tape, Scissors, glue etc and also the following (I didn't add hats or jokes or gifts to my crackers yet, and still deciding on what gifts or delicacies to add!):

STEP1 gather your materials
  • Two sheets of heavy duty backing paper or shiny pearlescent paper or paper you have stamped images on
  • two lengths of ribbon or cord to tie each end
  • border punch
  • three toilet roll insides
  • cracker snap (found mine on ebay)
  • embellishments to add to the cracker afterwards
  • template for cutting slots where you tie the ribbon so it ties neatly especially if the paper covering is thick (mine is a robo template but you can make your own or buy one here)
  • I used Craft Creations Pearlescent card and paper found here - the card and paper colours match and have a lovely sheen to them, making them ideal for this project

STEP 2 cutting

  • Cut about an inch off the length of your A4 piece of paper, the one you would like as your main covering / cracker colour, so it measures 7'' X 11.5''.
  • Cut strips from your contrasting coloured paper ready to punch borders for the middle and both ends of the cracker
  • Fold the large pice of paper in half, so you can easily centre your cardboard inner tube and make sure your ends are the same width as well

STEP 3 More Folding..
  • Turn the pearlescent paper up so the back faces you and fold each side in towards the middle fold you just created, which:
  • makes guidelines for tying and a neat finish - fold about half an inch away from the centre fold on each side, dont bring both sides right into the middle
  • use your leftover blue strip and cut a straight or decorative centre to the middle white border

STEP 4 Cutting Diamond shapes for tying

Use a template, or try making your own, or mark upside down V shapes on both folded edges of each cracker end:

Cut the V shapes with the paper still FOLDED to make the diamond shapes

When cut, and the Cracker sides are unfolded, it should look like this:

(note the thicker the paper or card used to cover the cracker the closer the shapes will need to be, since there is more / stronger paper to bring together when you tie, and if you are using thinner paper the diamond shapes need to be further apart so the paper doesnt tear when you tie the ends!)

STEP 5 Attaching border decorations

At this point, stick all your borders to the cracker covering, making sure to stick right to the ends for a neat finish

Trim off any excess now too, its much easier than later on and tidier!

STEP 6 Assembly, Filling and Tying
Now we're ready to roll!
  • With your cracker covering face down, and having marked the centre of your cardboard inner tube, you can now match up the paper to the inner, and lie the cracker snap two thirds of the way in from either of the two sides, so the snap is held well in place for pulling
  • place DS tape in the middle and two end sections of one of the inside sides of the cracker covering - check the picture above
  • Peel off the middle one only (its easier this way!)
  • Roll the tube and covering, keeping check that the sides are all matching and attach the middle
  • Insert two tubes on either end to keep the shape of the cracker nice and neat and free from creases while tying ribbon or cord
  • Tie one end
  • ADD YOUR GIFTS and other items at this point
  • Tie the other end

STEP 7 Finishing Touches

Almost done - you can add any embellishments at this stage, and I added a snowflake because I love the whole blue and white theme!

I have some more colours and different crackers to show as have made 6 now and got a little carried away, just waiting for my camera batteries to charge, so pop by again and I will have them up in the next couple of days.

These are great fun to make, and addictive and I hope you find the tutorial useful!


  1. Oh my goodness me Jess... your Christmas crackers are fabulous. A lot of hard work though. I am sure this is going to be a sought after tutorial in blogland. Well done! hugs Sharon

  2. Fantastic Jess, do you mind if I put a link up to this on Cardz n Scrapz?

  3. Gorgeous cracker, very pretty.
    Came across your blog, via Dianne's link on CnS forum.

  4. Wow Jess this is fantastic ...thank you for sharing

  5. Wow Jess this is fantastic ..thank you for sharing

  6. Oooooooo Jess thats so pretty - I love it. Off now to find a Craft Robo template :) Thanks for sharing this fabby tutorial.

  7. Hi Jess just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your tutorial on Christmas Crackers,
    So go I am going to give it a go this year,
    Well done
    Yvonne Tune